The Preakness Stakes is the only leg of the Triple Crown named after a horse. Owned by Milton H. Sanford, Preakness won the Dinner Party Stakes as a three-year-old during Pimlico’s inaugural season in 1870. The Preakness Stakes was first run in 1873.
The Black-Eyed Susan, Maryland’s state flower, does not bloom until June. To make the blanket of yellow and black flowers presented to the winner of every Preakness appear to be Black-Eyed Susans, the centers of Viking daisies are daubed with black lacquer.
Only once has the Preakness been won by three successive generations. Bold Ruler (1957) sired Secretariat (1973), who in turn sired Risen Star (1988).
Since 1961, eight horses have won the Preakness without having run in the Kentucky Derby. The most recent was the filly Rachel Alexandra (2009), who prepped for the Preakness by winning the Kentucky Oaks.
A malfunction of the official timer during the 1973 Preakness denied Secretariat the distinction of having set track records in all three of his Triple Crown race wins. While officially credited with covering the Preakness distance of 1 3/16 miles in 1:54 2/5, Secretariat was clocked in what would have been a track-record 1:53 2/5 by Daily Racing Form.
While no horse since 1882 has won the Kentucky Derby without having raced at age two, Bernardini (2006) and Red Bullet (2000) are the two latest examples of Preakness winners who did not race for the first time until after they turned three.
Since 1909, when the Preakness returned to Pimlico after being run for several years in New York, only three jockeys have ever ridden back-to-back winners of the race. Martin Garcia, who won aboard Lookin at Lucky last year, will seek to join Johnny Loftus (1918-19), Eddie Arcaro (1950-51) and Pat Day (1994-96) when he rides Midnight Interlude on Saturday.
The only time when multiple horses were officially credited with winning the same Triple Crown race was in 1918 when the Preakness was run in two divisions. The only such future occurrence would happen as a result of a dead heat.
Kentucky Derby champion Animal Kingdom was unable to go out a winner, fading quickly in the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday in his last race before retirement.
Ramon Dominguez, a three-time Eclipse Award winner as the leading jockey in North America, retired on Thursday due to a head injury suffered in a fall earlier this year.